Fiesta Bowl 2013: Oregon vs. Kansas State: TV Info, Predictions and More

Kay Jennings@KayJenningsPDXContributor IIIDecember 3, 2012

Fiesta Bowl 2013: Oregon vs. Kansas State: TV Info, Predictions and More

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    Here it is folks, the game everyone outside the state of Alabama and the Catholic religion wants to see in the BCS National Championship Game.

    Uh, just one little tweak—the game will be played in Glendale, AZ, instead of Miami, FL at the 2013 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, one of five venues for the Bowl Championship Series.

    No matter. The Oregon Ducks and the Kansas State Wildcats will have better chips at their bowl. There might be salsa, too.

    Here's your complete rundown for the 42nd annual Fiesta Bowl.

Game-Day Info

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    Where: University of Phoenix Stadium (the one that looks like a big barrel cactus): Glendale, AZ. Capacity 73,000

    When: Thursday, January 3, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. PST

    TV: ESPN

    Radio: ESPN Radio

    Live Streaming: Watch ESPN

    Betting Line:  Oregon -9.5

Key Storylines

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    The key storyline for this game can be summed up in one word: offense.

    Oregon and Kansas State each have a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate: running back Kenjon Barner and quarterback Collin Klein. The Ducks average 50.8 points per game, and the Wildcats average 40.7.

    Kansas State's star quarterback, Collin Klein, has led his team to a No. 55 ranking in total offense this season, with an average of 410.42 yards per game.

    Oregon fans scoff at that number. The Ducks are No. 4 nationally with an average of 550.08 yards per game. Oregon has scored 85 touchdowns this year, compared to the Wildcats' 62.

    Both teams are effective in the red zone. Oregon has been there 70 times and scored 63 of those time. Kansas State has been inside its opponents' 20-yard-line 68 times and converted on 59 of those.

    And here's a telling stat: The Ducks have run 989 plays to the Wildcats' 771.

    On paper, it looks like Kansas State, a team who gave up 52 points to Baylor, will have trouble keeping up with Oregon.

Oregon Depth Chart and Injury Report

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    WR: 16 Daryle Hawkins - 11 Bralon Addison

    LT:  64 Tyler Johnstone - 74 Kyle Long

    LG:  74 Kyle Long - 54 Hamani Stevens

    C: 55 Hroniss Grasu - 78 Karrington Armstrong

    RG: 60 Ryan Clanton - 61 Nick Cody

    RT: 75 Jake Fisher - 71 Everett Benyard III

    TE: 15 Colt Lyerla - 85 Pharaoh Brown

    WR: 1 Josh Huff - 19 Eric Dungy OR 18 Dwayne Stanford

    WR: 7 Keanon Lowe - 89 Will Murphy

    QB: 8 Marcus Mariota - 2 Bryan Bennett

    RB: 24 Kenjon Barner - 6 De'Anthony Thomas



    DE: 66 Taylor Hart - 44 DeForest Buckner

    DT: 65 Isaac Remington - 9 Arik Armstead

    DT: 90 Ricky Heimuli - 56 Alex Balducci

    DE: 96 Dion Jordan - 91 Tony Washington

    MLB: 47 Kiko Alonso - 34 Rahim Cassell

    WLB: 46 Michael Clay - 22 Derrick Malone

    SLB: 25 Boseko Lokombo - 33 Tyson Coleman

    CB: 27 Terrance Mitchell - 3 Dior Mathis

    FS: 4 Erick Dargan - 26 Ben Butterfield

    SS: 12 Brian Jackson - 17 James Scales

    CB: 14 Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - 13 Troy Hill



    KO: 41 Alejandro Maldonado - 93 Rob Beard

    PK: 93 Rob Beard - 41 Alejandro Maldonado

    P:  49 Jackson Rice - 41 Alejandro Maldonado

    KR: 6 De'Anthony Thomas - 7 Keanon Lowe

    PR: 6 De'Anthony Thomas - 11 Bralon Addison

    LS: 39 Drew Howell (punts) - 59 Jeff Palmer (PAT/FG)

    HLD: 49 Jackson Rice - 2 Bryan Bennett


    Injury Report

    Who the heck knows? Oregon does not release injury information. Safety Isaac Dixon has missed the last few games for unknown reasons and is believed to be questionable for the bowl game.







Kansas State Depth Chart and Injury Report

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    WR: 3 Chris Harper - 88 Torrell Miller

    LT: 78 Cornelius Lucas - 64 Tomasi Mariner

    LG: 55 Cody Whitehair - 50 Nick Puetz

    C: 66 B.J. Finney - 61 Drew Liddle

    RG: 79 Keenan Taylor - 77 Boston Stiverson

    RT: 73 Tavon Rooks - 55 Cody Whitehair

    TE: 80 Travis Tannahill - 85 Zach Trujillo

    QB: 7 Collin Klein - 4 Daniel Sams OR 15 Sam Johnson

    RB: 33 John Hubert - 29 Angelo Pease

    FB: 48 Braden Wilson - 89 Zach Nemechek

    WR: 16 Tyler Lockett - 14 Curry Sexton

    WR: 86 Tramaine Thompson - 81 Kyle Klein



    DE: 97 Adam Davis - 94 Alauna Finau

    DT: 92 Vai Lutui - 95 Travis Britz

    DT: 71 John Sua - 99 Javonta Boyd

    DE: 42 Meshak Williams - 44 Ryan Mueller

    WLB: 50 Tre Walker - 39 Jonathan Truman

    SLB: 2 Justin Tuggle OR 26 Jarell Childs

    MLB: 46 Arthur Brown - 53 Blake Slaughter

    CB: 3 Allen Chapman - 19 Carl Miles

    FS: 12 Ty Zimmerman - 29 Kent Gainous

    SS: 23 Jared Milo - 22 Thomas Ferguson

    CB: 21 Nigel Malone - 15 Randall Evans OR 7 Kip Daily


    Special Teams

    PK: 10 Anthony Cantele - 6 Brandon Klimek

    KO: 10 Anthony Cantele

    HOLD: 9 Ryan Doerr

    P:  9 Ryan Doerr - 38 Mark Krause

    LS: 63 Marcus Heit - 46 Dalton Converse

    PR: 86 Tramaine Thompson - 16 Tyler Lockett

    KOR: 86 Tramaine Thompson - 16 Tyler Lockett


    Injury Report

    Coach Bill Snyder is not any more forthcoming about injuries than Chip Kelly. It is believed that FS Ty Zimmerman has a leg injury, but he was listed as the starter for the Texas game.




Oregon Player To Watch

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    If Kenjon Barner runs at will through the K-State defense, nothing else will matter.

    Oregon's star running back currently ranks No. 5 nationally in rushing with 1,624 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. Interestingly, Barner is tied with K-State's quarterback Collin Klein in the total number of points scored this season—132.

    The Wildcats shouldn't forget about Barner as a receiver either; he has 232 receiving yards and can be dangerous on the perimeter.

    If Barner gets going like he did in the USC game (321 rushing yards and five touchdowns), it will be a long evening for Kansas State. But if the Wildcats can neutralize Barner like Stanford did, it will even things out.

Kansas State Player To Watch

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    Will K-State quarterback Collin Klein have won the Heisman Trophy by the time this game is played?

    Maybe. Maybe not. But he's still the player to watch for the Wildcats. A true dual-threat quarterback, his statistics are highly intriguing in 2012.

    While Klein is only No. 84 on passing completions per game nationally (Oregon's Marcus Mariota is No. 56) and Klein only has 15 passing touchdowns compared to Mariota's 30, Klein's strength is his running game. He has 890 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns.

    Klein is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Oregon fans think Mariota is the best QB in all the land, so this will be a fun competition to watch.

Key Matchups

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    Oregon's NFL-bound defensive end Dion Jordan loves to make quarterbacks uncomfortable, and that's being nice.

    At 6'7", 243 lbs. and quick as a cat, Jordan can terrorize a slow-moving or stubborn QB. In the K-State games I've seen this year, Collin Klein wasn't pressured that much and was allowed to do what he wanted.

    Jordan, when healthy, is a ferocious pass-rusher. If Kansas State's O-line doesn't protect Klein from Jordan, the outcome of this game will change. But if Klein can successfully elude Jordan, the Wildcats will challenge Oregon.

    A second key matchup will be Oregon running back Kenjon Barner vs. K-State's D-line. If Barner runs roughshod over the K-State defensive line, the Ducks will win. Barner is extremely difficult to bring down in open space when he has a full head of steam.

    Only one team had any success neutralizing Barner. If I were K-State's defense, I'd be watching film of the Oregon vs. Stanford game over and over and over again.

Oregon Will Win If...

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    ...Kansas State can't stop the Ducks' potent offense.

    The Wildcats looked strong defensively against Texas, but Oregon is not Texas. The Ducks have more weapons than General Petraeus—oops, bad analogy.

    Shutting down Oregon's running game and Kenjon Barner is task one. But do that, Wildcats, and you had better not take your eyes off Marcus Mariota, De'Anthony Thomas, Colt Lyerla, Josh Huff, Keanon Lowe, etc.

    The Ducks will burn you one way or they will burn you another way. The Wildcats defense had better get a really good night's sleep before this one.

Kansas State Will Win If...

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    ...the Ducks can't put any pressure on Collin Klein. K-State's quarterback is capable of winning this game almost by himself.

    Oregon has faced some excellent QBs this season, but most have been one-dimensional. There was almost no chance, for example, that USC's Matt Barkley was going to take off running. Klein is a different animal, and it's essential that the Ducks get up in his face regularly.

    The other wild card that might factor in the Wildcats winning this game is if Oregon head coach Chip Kelly should announce in December that he is leaving for the NFL. While Duck fans and players understand that Kelly is the single hottest NFL prospect, the reality of his departure might result in the Ducks coming out flat.


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    The Ducks have too many weapons and too much to prove for Kansas State to win this game.

    Oregon is one missed field goal away from being in the BCS National Championship Game. K-State's lone slip-up against Baylor was also traumatic, but the solid pounding (24-52) it  took was in some ways easier to digest than Oregon's very close call against Stanford.

    Both these teams and their fans are asking why a one-loss Alabama team is better and will be out to prove that they should have been in the big one. The Fiesta Bowl will be the most entertaining game of the bowl season.